Tattoo Thoughts: Buzzfeed’s “16 Questions People with Tattoos are Tired of Answering”

Buzzfeed    Every so often, an article is posted about things that people with tattoos don’t like being asked or dislike about the attitude they get from people who don’t like tattoos. Some of the points are valid, but some of the complaints really seem like hypersensitive overreactions to what is just a genuine interest about a person’s body art.

BuzzFeed recently ran an article titled “16 Questions People With Tattoos are Tired of Answering”. Normally, I just read these lists, ponder them for a few minutes, and then move on. This time, I think I should publish my own responses to these questions

Here is the main article:  16 Questions People with Tattoos are Tired of Answering

  1. Can I Touch it?
    1. The response to this is easy: Yes or No. If someone tries to touch it without your permission, that’s a problem that goes well beyond you having a tattoo. It is them violating your personal space. Otherwise, if they ask, you say ‘no’ and that’s the end of it, there should be no further issue.
  2. Is that Real?
    1. A legitimate question. Tattooing techniques have advanced so much that the tell-tale scarring that accompanies tattoos has all but gone away (People did not believe my Irish/Scottish flag tattoo was real at first, for that reason). Additionally, some people choose to get henna-style designs inked permanently on their body and you cannot always tell if it is done with temporary henna ink.
  3. Did it hurt?
    1. I don’t know what the problem with this question is. Some people are genuinely curious to know, if only for their personal edification. Other people may be considering getting a tattoo for the first time, or getting one in a place that has a reputation for being painful. So, they legitimately want to know.
  4. I’m Thinking about getting a Tattoo on My Side.  Do you think that’s going to hurt?
    1. See my response to Question #3
  5. What does it MEAN?! (Usually asked by a stranger in a public place)
    1. Once again, people are genuinely curious to know about your tattoo design. If don’t want any questions at all, don’t wear anything that shows off the tattoo, or don’t get it in a place where you can’t help but show it off. As far as not wanting to respond to questions from strangers, you always have the right to NOT respond, same as if they asked you about your clothes.
  6. What do you mean, “you just like it”?  IT HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING, right?
    1. Simple response: “Yes, it means I like it”. You can then excuse them from the conversation if they won’t let it go.
  7. Wanna see mine?
    1. People like to talk tattoos. They want to talk about yours. They want to talk about theirs. If they ask this question, the answer is easy: Yes or No.
  8. I really want to get my sleeve done!  How much is that going to cost?
    1. Really? If you get upset about getting this question, you shouldn’t have gotten a tattoo in the first place. This is a perfectly legitimate question. Someone asking this question knows you are not an artist who can give a quote, but they see you have a sleeve and just want to get a ballpark figure on what to expect.
  9. So… do you have any tattoos in *private* places?
    1. This is not an appropriate question at all, except from someone you are intimate with. You are perfectly within your rights to put someone in their place for stepping out of line to ask this.
  10. How long did it take?
    1. This is another legitimate question. Someone who has never gotten a tattoo, or only has small ones, has a legitimate desire to know what sort of time commitment they can expect.
  11. Are you an artist?
    1. If you’re not, you say ‘No’. This isn’t hard.
  12. Who did your tattoo?  Do you have their number?
    1. I have a real problem with people getting upset at this question. Finding a great tattoo artist is a matter of networking, in addition to research. If you happen to see tattoo work that you really like and appeals to you, it is natural to want to know who the artist is, in order to seek out their talents. I know I have referred the tattoo artist who has done most of my work to many friends looking for new ink.
  13. How will you ever get a JOB with those?
    1. When asked this way, it is a very obnoxious and condescending question. I would hope that, before someone gets tattooed, they would have given proper thought to how their body art will be received. Regardless, even if they haven’t, asking such a question a question in this manner is just someone trying to be judgmental.
  14. OMG, aren’t you afraid of getting a disease?
    1. A pretty dumb question from people who don’t know any better. However, if the person is genuinely concerned, you can explain about all the hygienic practices that responsible artists follow to ensure that even the tiniest chance of infection does not does not occur. If the person is just trying to be obnoxious, then ignore them.
  15. Who, so you’re like, a tough chick or something, right?
    1. Easy question to ignore. Nothing really to get worked up about.
  16. UGH, what are you going to look like when you’re 80?
    1. For starters, when I’m 80, I’ll have many other things to worry about. Of course, a really pithy response will be to share photos of any number of senior citizens who are proudly, and awesomely, rocking their ink in their later years.

Having been on both on both sides of the tattoo discussion (first hating them and then being an ardent fan of tattoos), I understand all the angles to the debate. While people who are vehemently against tattoos can be really obnoxious with how they share their attitudes, those who are angrily defensive of tattoos (characterized by many of the ‘annoyed’ responses they give to the above questions) are just as bad. They get tattoos, show them off and then go on the attack against anyone

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Renaissance Woman Edition): Sarai Givaty

SaraiG_Pic03   One only needs to read the list of professions that Israeli-born Sarai Givaty can claim in order to understand why she is a ‘renaissance’ woman.  Sarai is a singer-songwriter; she is a model; she is an actress; she happens to be an artist of some regard; and, she also happens to be quite the tattoo enthusiast.

SaraiG_Pic05    One of Sarai’s first attention-grabbing performances in the U.S. was in a two-episode story arc in the military crime procedural “NCIS”.  She portrayed Liat Tuvia, a Mossad agent (Israeli Intelligence) hired by director Eli David (Michael Nouri) to fill a void left by his daughter, Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), when Ziva left to the join the NCIS team.  Sarai more than held her own in these episodes.

SaraiG_Pic01    Sarai started her career in a night-time Israeli sketch show called “Kol Layla”.  She portrayed an American reporter and was well received enough to gain positive reviews from Israeli television critics, and she even continued the role after she moved the United States to take acting classes.

SaraiG_Pic04    Before getting her guest appearance on “NCIS”, Sarai also has a guest role as a Russia spy the pilot episode of short-lived Christian Slater action series “My Own Worst Enemy”.  Around that time, Sarai also scored her first major film role in the Stephen Dorff horror film, “The Passage”.  Far from being the typical slasher fare, “The Passage” was entered into the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, where Sarai was lauded for her star-making performance.

SaraiG_Pic07    While Sarai continues to build her acting resume, she has also become an accomplished artist.  Using photography as her medium, and her upbringing in Israel as her inspiration, Sarai has developed a series of surreal and inventive photo sets with themes surrounding contemporary warfare, privacy, human rights and international security.  You can check out more of Sarai’s powerful work at her official artist website:  http://www.saraigivatyart.com/index.html

SaraiG_Pic06     Sarai is also involved in numerous modeling campaigns, and even has a singing career.  She is truly a ‘renaissance woman’.  Future acting projects have her starring in “Expendables 3″, alongside such heavyweight personalities as Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and, even, MMA a$$-kicker (and “New 2 Tats” hottie) Ronda Rousey.

SaraiG_Pic02   Now, for the really fun part:  Sarai’s body art.  Sarai makes no secret of her love of tattoos.  She will not accept the regrettable practice of photographers airbrushing ink out of photo shoots.  As a result, you get presented with a stunningly gorgeous model showing off her amazing ink.  One of Sarai’s most prominent tattoos is pretty flowery vine encircling her right ankle.

SaraiG_Tat02SaraiG_Tat04SaraiG_Tat03Sarai also proudly shows off an armband tattoo around her right bicep.

SaraiG_Tat01She also has a phrase of some kind (it might be written in Hebrew) on her left wrist.

SaraiG_Tat05Sarai also has a sexy design running along her lower back.

SaraiG_Tat06You can find out more about Sarai on her official website:  http://www.saraigivaty.com/

You can see more of her stunning art work here:  http://www.saraigivatyart.com/index.html

And, of course, you can follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/SARAIGIVATY

 

Hottie Ink Update (Not Wasting Any Time Edition): Ariana Grande’s Third Tattoo!

AGrande_3rdTat_Pic01     Singing sensation (and long-time Nickelodeon actress) has already been kind enough to share her love of body art with her fans, as she has photos and videos show her first two tattoos being applied:  A heart on the second toe on her right foot and the word “Mille tendresse” (‘a thousand tendernesses’) on the back of her neck.

AGrande_3rdTat_Pic02    Just a few days after she showed off the tattoo on the back of her neck, Ariana changed her profile picture on Twitter and Instagram and it seemed to show a new piece of ink appearing on her left rib cage.  It turns out it is another script tattoo.  This time, she tapped into her Italian heritage and had the word “bellissima” (‘very beautiful’) etched on her torso.  Ariana seems to love these small, feminine adorable tattoos.  So, I fully expect we will be seeing more updates in the future.

AGrande_3rdTat_Tat01AGrande_3rdTat_Tat02Continue to follow Ariana on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/ArianaGrande

Catch up with her on Instagram at:  http://instagram.com/arianagrande

Hottie Ink Update: Ashley Greene Shows Off Tattoos #3 and #4

AGreeneTat3_Pic01    Stunning and elegant can definitely be over-used adjectives to describe a woman’s beauty.  I try to avoid using it too much in the ‘New 2 Tats’ features.  However, I confidently say those words always seem to accurately apply to actress Ashley Greene.

AGreeneTat3_Pic02

Greene’s love, and growing collection, of body art have already made her a favorite at ‘New 2 Tats’.   She has already had her own main feature, which showed off her adorable key tattoo behind her left ear.

AGreeneTat2   Ashley then had a tattoo update feature (along with Janel Parrish), to show off the script tattoo on the top of her left foot that reads ‘lifes a dream’ (which she got as a memento of her stay in New Orleans)

AGreeneTat3_Pic03    Ashley, who was first known for her role in the popular young-adult movie series “Twilight”, has continued to evolve her acting career, with roles in films like “CBGB” (about the famous underground Manhattan punk music venue) as well as three new films with release dates in 2014.  She has also built a strong modeling portfolio with a ubiquitous presence in print advertising, including a provocative series of ads for SoBe beverages, which ran in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

While Ashley’s profile has continued to grow, so has her collection of body art.  Most recently, she has been spotted with two new wrist tattoos.  On her right wrist, there is a design of what appears to be an elephant.

AGreeneTat3_Tat04AGreeneTat3_Tat01On her outer part of her left wrist, Ashley has the word ‘Love’ etched in a script design on her body.

AGreeneTat3_Tat03AGreeneTat3_Tat02    Ashley will continue to be worth following as her career grows.  Her love of tattoos also all but guarantees she will be making more appearances on this blog.

Our friends at Coolspotters have a comprehensive collection of photos that capture glimpses of Ashley’s body art:   Coolspotters’ Ashley Greene Tattoo Gallery.

Of course, you can always follow Ashley on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AshleyMGreene

Hottie Ink Update: Malese Jow’s Second Tattoo

MaleseJow_Tat2_03    The very cute (and attractive) Malese Jow, who is known to younger audiences for her roles in “Bratz: The Movie” and the Nickelodeon teen sitcom “Unfabulous” (starring with Emma Roberts), is recognized by older audiences as one of the Facebook ‘groupies’ from “The Social Network” and as one of the leads in CW series “Star-Crossed”.

MaleseJow_Tat2_02    Back in 2011, Malese got her first tattoo, a script design that read ‘Que Sera Sera’ on her left wrist.  Malese was very excited about joining ‘Club Ink’ and took to YouTube to share her the inspiration for this body art with her fans:

Given how much she enjoyed getting her first tattoo, one knew it was only a matter of time before she went under the needle again.  Malese, who is also making a name for herself with many tasteful and elegant modeling photo shoots, did get her second tattoo at the end of 2012.

MaleseJow_Tat2_01    Malese’s new piece of body art is stunningly beautiful, detailed cross that runs from the back of her neck down to her upper back.  This type of realism is what all tattoo fans should strive to have from their ink.  Undoubtedly, Malese is also quite proud of this one.  She also continues to follow the practice (which I strongly encourage) of documenting the process of having the tattoo applied.

MaleseJow_Tat2_04You can continue to get your Malese Jow ‘fix’ on her fan site:  http://malesejowsource.com/

You can also follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/xoMalese

 

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (“Girls” Edition): Zosia Mamet

ZosiaM_Pic06    The introduction of HBO’s “Girls” to the pop culture landscape has proven to be one of the more polarizing phenomenon’s in recent memory.  Created, and written, by lead actress Lena Dunham, “Girls” stories of the personal and professional angst of young 20-somethings living in New York has been received as a revelation by one segment of audiences, while being viewed as horribly irritating by another.

ZosiaM_Pic03    The lead cast members of “Girls” are a literal ‘Who’s Who?’ of famous offspring.  Dunham (who plays Hannah) is the daughter of noted artists Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons.  Jemima Kirke (who plays Jessa) is the daughter of Simon Kirke, the former drummer for the rock band Bad Company.  Allison Williams (Marnie) is the daughter of Brian Williams, the lead anchor of “NBC Nightly News”.  Finally, there is Zosia Mamet (who plays Shoshanna).  If her last name sounds familiar, it should.  She is the daughter of world famous playwright, David Mamet.

ZosiaM_Pic07    Zosia’s artistic bloodlines are inherited just from her father.  Her mother, Lindsay Crouse, is an actress with a fairly lengthy resume.  Among Lindsay’s roles were “All the President’s Men”, “Slap Shot” and “The Insider”.  Zosia’s grandfather (and Lindsay’s father) is play Russel Crouse.  So, it would make sense that Zosia would gravitate towards this profession.

ZosiaM_Pic05     Zosia’s career did not overwhelm her childhood.  Until she was an adult, Zosia had two small film roles as a child, and one more as a teenager.  When she turned 18, she scored a guest-starring role in her father’s military action series “The Unit”.  Zosia soon followed that up with an extended role on the Showtime dramedy about multiple personalities, “The United States of Tara” (alongside the very talented Toni Collette).  She played Courtney, the very amorous and controlling girlfriend of Tara’s son, Marshall.  Zosia also spent time on “Parenthood” and “Mad Men” before landing her biggest role to date.

ZosiaM_Pic02     In 2012, Zosia joined the cast of “Girls” as Shoshanna Shapiro, the virginal (but curious) member of Hannah’s inner circle of confused, young adults trying to learn the ways of life in the big city.  “Girls” has been a critical darling (with Emmy, Golden Globe and Director’s Guild Awards to its credit), and it has helped raise Zosia’s profile in the industry.  When she’s not experiencing angst as Shoshanna, Zosia is also provided her vocal talents to the animated series “High School USA!” and is working on her first lead film role in “Shiva and May”.

ZosiaM_Pic04     One thing fans of “Girls” have noticed is that it seems like all the lead actresses are fans of body art.  With the exception of Allison Williams (who opted not to get any tattoos when co-star, Jemima Kirke [who has tattooed Lena Dunham] said they weren’t right for Williams], the other lead actresses all have ink.  One of the first tattoos I noticed of Zosia’s was a heart on the palm of her right hand.  Initially, it looked like she may have been goofing around with a Sharpie, but I have seen this tattoo in several different photo sets over a period of time.  So, this odd tattoo appears to be the real deal.

ZosiaM_Tat01   Zosia has several other tattoos on her hand, as well.  On her right pinky finger, she has a column of three dots just below the fingernail, followed by a dainty anchor tattoo.

zosiam_tat04Also, on that same hand, Zosia has a little diamond-like design and a squiggly line

ZosiaM_Tat03    Zosia has also followed a common feminine trend of getting inked on her feet.  While I have not been able to determine the meaning behind these designs, they are intriguing, cute tattoos.  The include some symbolic scripting along the inside of her right foot and an arrow design with lines below it on her left foot.

ZosiaM_Tat02

(Credit:  Joseph Marzullo)

(Credit: Joseph Marzullo)

You can find out more about Zosia on her official website:  http://www.zosiamamet.com/

Zosia can be followed on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/ZosiaRMamet

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Explaining It All Edition): Melissa Joan Hart

MJH_Pic05     Television in the 1990′s seemed to be dominated by one teen star.  Well, she dominated Nickelodeon and ABC’s “TGIF” line-up, at least.  You may remember her as Clarissa Darling from “Clarissa Explains It All” or as Sabrina Spellman on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”.  In the real world, she is Melissa Joan Hart, tween star turned teen star turned grown up star.

MJH_Pic01     As a child actress, Melissa had several small roles on her resume up through the beginning of her teenage years, including guest roles on series like “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and “ABC Weekend Specials”.  At age 15, Melissa scored her first breakout role as the title character in the Nickelodeon series “Clarissa Explains It All”.  This role, in which she played a relatable teenager going through a number of the typical headaches many girls experience at that stage in life, Melissa scored numerous Young Artist Award nominations, and also provided the template by which Nickelodeon would become Disney’s chief rival in churning out young talent.

MJH_Pic07     The enormous success of “Clarissa” made Melissa a teen magazine icon and engendered more than a few crushes from boys of similar age.  When Melissa was no longer high school age, it was a good time to end the series (in a smart move, Nickelodeon opted not to go through with a planned college life storyline, avoiding the mistakes of “Saved By the Bell”).  In the meantime, Melissa continued to work in a numerous made-for-tv films while looking for her next big hit (including “Twisted Desire”, an incredibly shocking departure from the wholesome Clarissa character).

MJH_Pic02    1996 found that next big role for her.  Finding inspiration from one of the alternate characters from the long-running, and hugely popular, Archie Comics series, ABC (owned by Nickelodeon rival, Disney) launched “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”, a new addition to the network’s stable of Friday night family shows known as TGIF.  With Melissa taking the role of the title character, this modernized version of the comic series (with hipper, more modern Aunts, Zelda and Hilda), showed a more mature, but still fun-loving, version of Hart.  It scored a few Kids Choice Awards and provided a role for Melissa that carried her into her late 20′s, and through life-changing events like getting married.

MJH_Pic03    While performing on “Sabrina”, Hart still managed to notch a few movie roles and also generate a bit of controversy.  Some of her roles included ‘Annoying Yearbook Girl’ from “Can’t Hardly Wait” and the lead in teen romantic comedy “Drive Me Crazy” (a film where its accompanying Britney Spears music video was more memorable than the actual film).  In late 1999, Hart created some hullabaloo with with a very racy photo spread in Maxim magazine.  The companion article had Melissa revealing that she wasn’t quite the innocent girl her public persona made her out to be.

MJH_Pic04     More recently, Melissa began another show “Melissa & Joey”, alongside fellow 90′s teen heartthrob, Joey Lawrence.  This ABC Family comedy is yet another hit for Hart.  It is slated to begin its fourth season in 2014.  Even with all the acting gigs, Melissa still finds time for her most important role…. that of mother to her three sons:  Mason, Braydon and Tucker.

MJH_Pic06      In addition to the barely clad photos and saucy narrative of her 1999 Maxim cover article, Melissa also showed off an early appreciation of body art.  On the back of her neck, Hart has a tiny little cross.

MJH_Tat01    Just below the big toe on her right foot, Melissa has a design of a stingray.

MJH_Tat05MJH_Tat04    At one point, Melissa was briefly spotted with a design above her left breast.  However, that clearly was a temporary tattoo, as it quickly disappeared and has not been seen again.

You can find out more about Melissa on her fan site:  http://melissajoanhartfans.net/

You can also follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/MelissaJoanHart